I write from time to time to you; but not without often thinking it is a great presumption in me to suppose I can either entertain or instruct you; but I proceed, upon your commands, and the authority of Lord Bacon, who says, he is surprised to find men make diaries in sea voyages, where nothing is to be seen but sky and sea, and for the most part omit it in land travels, where so much is to be observed; as if chance were better to be registered than observation. When you are tired of my register, remember, I can take as well as give a hint.
PORT ST. ESPRIT.
After a voyage of one whole, and one half day, without sail or oar, we arrived here from Lyons. The weather was just such as we could wish and such as did not drive us out of the seat of my cabriolet into the cabbin, which was full of priests, monks, friars, milleners, &c. a motley crew! who were very noisy, and what they thought, I dare say, very good company; the deck, indeed, afforded better and purer air; three officers, and a priest; but it was not till late the first day before they took any civil notice of us; and if a Frenchman shews any backwardness of that sort, an Englishman, I think, had better hold up; this rule I always religiously observe. When the night came on, we landed in as much disorder as the troops were embarked at St. Cas, and lodged in a miserable auberge. It was therefore no mortification to be called forth for embarkation before day-light. The bad night’s lodging was, however, amply made up to us, by the beautiful and picturesque objects and variety which every minute produced. For the banks of this mighty river are not only charged on both sides with a great number of towns, villages, castles, chateaux, and farm-houses; but the ragged and broken mountains above, and fertile vales between and beneath, altogether exhibit a mixture of delight and astonishment, which cannot be described, unless I had Gainsborough’s elegant pencil, instead of my own clumsy pen. Upon comparing notes, we found that the officers, (and no men understand the etiquette of travelling better than they do,) had not fared much better than we had; one of them therefore proposed, that we should all sup together that night at Pont St.-Esprit, where, he assured us, there was one of the best cooks in France, and he would undertake to regulate the supper at a reasonable price. This was the first time we had eat with